On Jews and Christmas

Good morning and TGIF. It's been a long week but looking forward to some major league friend time this weekend. 'Tis the season.

I was thinking about how much I love Christmas and have written here about my Christmas envy, considering I'm Jewish. My sister and I have always joked about it- she is partial to a more Irish Catholic kind of Christmas (think Kennedys) and I've always been partial to a more over the top Italian/Dyker Heights/Feast of the Fishes mystique. But I digress. Because Jews can't do Christmas. Even if we try.

Case in point. This year i bought a fairly legit Christmas tree. Not huge, but not tabletop either. David and I put some music on and dressed the tree with some ornaments purchased locally- pretty gold star things and some small gold balls, and of course lights. I was going for more tasteful and restrained than my Italian Christmas obsession, but alas- the tree is cute, but doesn't quite cut it when it comes to Christmas miracles. Here's a picture of it. I just don't know how to make it great. I have no real frame of reference. I didn't grow up with Christmas and I'm a little long in the tooth now to learn.

My sister sent me this picture the other night. That's me. And my very 70s coiffed dad. And yes, that's some Christmas decor in the background. Apparently there were stockings. Since I was too young to remember this now, I rely on my sister's recall to regale me with tales of Christmas's (how do you pluralize this?I can't even do that) past. 

According to her, this was the first and only time we did Christmas at my house. My dad put up some festive wrapping paper on the wall in our den, think wallpaper vibes. Fairly clever if you ask me, although obviously not tasteful. My sister told me my dad STAPLED our gifts to the wall. Stapled? Who does that? My dad. That's who. He also used to nail picture frames to the wall. I guess he really wanted things to not fall down. Also the obvious omission was a tree. Thus the stapled to the wall gifts, including that sexy Spirograph you see. Maybe the tree was too goyish. Probably. As I looked at this picture, my sister reminded me how very happy I was. I must admit, I do look fairly chuffed. She then told me she unwrapped the Spirograph and put it on my head.  Also what's with the undershirt, pops? Ah, the holidays.

Yesterday I was at my local nail salon, fixing a botched pedicure. My nail ladies are Jews from Uzbekistan. My neighborhood is traditionally Italian American and requires more than a bit of Christmas cheer, so the woman who runs the place had her husband, who sports a huge star of David around his neck, putting up Christmas decor.   I watched as his befuddlement turned to frustration. How was he supposed to know what to do with all this tinsel, lights, and green and red objets? He gave up on the decor, after some cursing in Russian and sweating, and just sort of spread the accessories through the salon, in sort of weird bas reliefs vs. hanging them properly. It was sad to say the very least. As sad as my botched pedicure.

Now of course there are BIG exceptions to my thesis. I have a friend who lives in a super posh part of Boston, in a beautiful storybook home. Her Christmas tree appears to come out of a Currier and Ives painting. I think this is because she's surrounded by old monied Wasps. Perhaps they showed her how. Or she hired someone to decorate it, though not likely. PS her last name is Cohen. I'm not entirely sure how she pulled it off but yamulkes off to her.

Also my aunt does a gorgeous tree, though her husband, who converted to Judaism, grew up with Christmas so they have a more than slight aptitude and advantage to us 100% Ashkenazi types. This was one of her trees a few years back, with my sister's very non Jewish dog, Rosie sitting by it. Nice, right?

And though we pretend to love that crappy Adam Sandler Hannukah song and enjoy our stinky, fried latkes, no dreidl could substitute for a proper tree. A spinning top vs. a Douglas fir? Nope. Not even close. And with Christmas becoming more and more of a secular holiday, maybe we can all become experts on decor. Is there a master class I can take? I prefer to be better prepared next year. After all you can take a horse to water, but can you teach a Jew Christmas? The jury is still out. Oh and for those keeping score- guess where I'll be Christmas Day? On a plane to Israel. Oh, the irony. 

Cause that's what's up this most wonderful time of the year kind of Friday in Brooklyn. Yours, in yuletide carols and silent nights.  Oh, and Happy Hannukah. XO

Gift guide: Free People's got something for all your lady pals

Good morning, pals. It feels so good to be sharing on the blog again. I love discovering new things and showing you all of them. And today is no exception. Because the stress of holiday shopping is real. And because Free People has so many amazing options on ONE SITE- you could literally buy something for every female (and pet) on your list and have fun doing it. I love love love what they're doing online- super smart mix of high, low, and everything in between - well curated between beauty, fashion, and home. Such good things. Here's a few of my favorite gift ideas for all the archetypes in your life. 

For the hippie chick: This piece is called the Rising Sun kimono and it's RAD. We all know a girl with long layers and a sunshine vibe that needs this. So cool for lounging, brunching, anything really. Probably best for gals in LA but that's just my two cents. SO GOOD.

For the weather obsessed cool chick: Inuikii classic weather boot- OK- caveating the crap out of this one- these are EXPENSIVE. But how cool is a red boot like this to give a lil color pop when it's so grey outside? Just love these so much. Want them for myself. I am weather obsessed after all. Dark Sky much? 

For ankle poppers:The cutest socks- Love all of these as I'm having a bit of a sock renaissance in my life (I usually hate wearing socks but lately loving them with a low top van and some ankle showing). So many cute options- and five for $30 makes for a stylish and useful gift.

For the astrologically inclined: How CUTE is this idea? Love a beauty set that focuses on the zodiac signs- there are four varieties for water, earth, air, and fire from Pai Skincare, a great clean beauty brand.  So awesome and such a thoughtful gift.

For the dog lover: I mean- this is so good. How can you not love a collar like this? Her pooch will be the toast of the town. Kimono lady would probably like this too, ps.

For the sorceress: Yes, we all know one. And it seems that witchy poo things are in right now amidst so much chaos. This book should hit the spot. Put a spell on her with this gift.

For the warm and fuzzy type: Know someone who loves to cuddle and get cozy? This beanie is so cute. It's the accessory equivalent of comfort food. Such a pretty and warm statement.

For the design inclined coffee lover: Owning a french press is a bit of a hipster right of passage. This one is chic. I love the burnt orange one and any of your say -architect/graphic design types would dig this, I'm sure of it. Perfect for any Brooklyn brownstone or beyond.

For the fashionista party girl: To know one is to love one. And chances are she's always looking for something new to wear. This sparkly dress should make any disco queen happy.  Who doesn't love a new dress? Party girl suitors reading this- buy the dress, and then take her to a fabulous date so she can wear it. You're welcome.

For the freelance work from home/couch potato lady: If you know someone who watches CNN all day while working on her laptop (yours truly basically), a jumpsuit is a great way to be dressed but undressed. You could easily throw on a cardi over this number and make a Starbucks run, or you could simply chill inside, basking in the glory of your so called freelance life. Just a thought.

So there you have it- all the things. And many more to be discovered for all your favorite chickadees. Get on it, and have at it. Cause that's what's up this free to be kind of Wednesday in the Jerz.  Yours, in great gifts. XO


The Beauty Issue: Five products I'm loving this December

Good morning, Tuesday. It's been a while since I've shouted out any beauty products, so here's a few new doo dads I've been enjoying of late.  It's the holiday season and it's time to get the product mix right when it comes to personal gifting. Yes, that's Anja Rubik shot by Daniel Jackson for Vogue Germany a few months back. But don't you just? I know. Me too.

Here are a few high and low things for the holidays- leopard coat and boots not included.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind concealer. OK maybe I saw some young influencer type waxing poetic on Instagram stories about this. Maybe she's about 23. But maybe I found her post intriguing enough to try this product for myself- and boy, do I love it. Fabulous, low cost concealer. Does a dark circle good. Or bad as it were. Really brightens the under eye area beautifully. That packaging though....get your mind out of the gutter. And I'll get mine out of it too. ;)

Oribe Mystify Restyling Spray. THIS. A cross between a dry shampoo and a re-styler- it's the best thing EVER to remove your ponytail bump post barre class or just give a bit of zing to a tired, day old hairstyle. I'm obsessed with it and used it between washings on my shoot and it was an absolute lifestyle. Gives just the right amount of texture and crunch. So good.

Chanel Le Volume Revolution Mascara. Oh hells to the yes this may be my fav mascara of all time. Thickens and almost allows for a naked eye if you're so inclined (only thing you really need for your eyes to not look dead). I love this product. I think mascara is all about the wand and love this wand/brush so much- easy to apply and gives max volume and thickness. Great. I gotta say- Chanel really knocks it out of le parc every time lately when it comes to beauty. Amazing products and lots of fun launches.

Essie Leggy Legend. So lately I've taken to 70s hues when painting my nails. I'm LOVING this color- a copper that goes well with my tresses and just has that rock and roll 70s feel that I love so much. And festive in its own right for the holidays.

Aesop body oil. I've always been a big fan of Neutrogena's body oil but this version, though certainly more spendy, is just so lovely. The scent is vaguely medicinal but in a chic, hippie homeopathic way. And it's great when you just get out of the shower and want to protect against winter skin because it's Vitamin E enriched and super nourishing. Highly recommend.

So there you have it- a few of my favorite things for December and excellent self gifting opportunities to boot. You're welcome, darlings. 

Cause that's what's up this beauty-ful morning in NJ (again). Yours, in products make the world go 'round. XO

Is it ever as good as the first time? (Hint: fashion's banking on it)

Good morning, Monday. I'm working on a new writing project right now which should be really fun and I'm happy to be working through the holidays. For some reason, I love working through Christmas because it's a nice way to end the year. And as some of you know, I'm off to Israel on Christmas Day with my husband and his family. Looking forward to that.

Anyhoo, nostalgia much? I'm not sure what's happening in fashion (besides some bonafide desperation), but feels like we only go backwards now. Case in point- the Marc Jacobs redux of his now infamous grunge collection for Perry Ellis back in 1992 (still at the top of the post is from the original collection). We all know this collection was a precedent setting, groundbreaker fo the designer, but to re-release it feels a bit- hmm. Not sure. Although I am fully onboard for that Doc Martens collab he's doing. Must haves. But seeing that baby cardigan and slip dress combo made me feel stuff. Good stuff, but not sure I can wear it again stuff. I do have a bit of a rule that if I was old enough to rock the trend the first time, I may not go there again. 90s minimalism is of course exempt from this rule- because it's classic and always works. But everything else? Ya. Pretty much. And just so you know- I didn't wear Docs AT ALL growing up- even though I was a moody, suburban art school chick with an asymmetrical bob back in the day. Link to a great article from the CUT here as well as a link to shop. 

Husband, if you're reading- those Docs for the holidays would make a great gift for your former art school wifey. ;)

Then last night I caught some pre-Fall Versace. And guess what? Not only is the eponymous safety dress back, but so is the infamous J. Lo plunge neck, worn by Amber Valletta back in the day (the year 2000 to be exact) on the original runway, and now, yet again on the most recent turn. You better work. She's major. And breaks all my rules. Love the new print,  I must admit.

But does this nostalgia feel like an homage of sorts or is it just lazy, repurposing? And is it chicer to rock the original, now vintage version or procure the new iteration? I don't know the answer but look for brands to continue to re-release the classics- Gap- if you're listening- you would be SMART AS F to redo the khaki spot that made you famous and redo the khaki for a new generation. My two cents. I guess there's a market for everything old being new again. I'm just not sure if it simply is not for me because it makes me feel ancient or whether I find it annoyingly derivative. Does teen spirit smell great the second time? I dunno. You tell me. I have a feeling this is going to be a big trend considering the very precarious times in which we're living- does doom and gloom and despair lead to nostalgic impulses? Yup. Think so. Let the good times roll.

Cause that's what's up this here we are now, entertain us kind of Monday in New Jersey (don't ask). Yours, in second time around. XO

Tips for work outs while traveling: My top picks for staying fit during the holidays

Good morning, Thursday. As I've mentioned, I've got some time on my side right now so I'm going to do all I can to indulge in a bit of self care and work out and eat well. It's a lot easier when your only options to work out are 6 am or 7 pm. I don't love either of those so I'm feeling happy to be able to get a workout done at 9:30 in the morning. Feels very luxurious. 

And with so many of us traveling for the holiday season, I thought I'd give you a few ideas for some great ways to stay fit on the road, or some great gifts for avid travelers who like to stay in shape. That's model Irina Shayk up there working it out in her hotel room for Vogue, but if you're a mere mortal without a stellar gene pool or metabolism, fear not. You can still get involved.

I bought this snazzy Manduka yoga mat for my recent Cali trip and I loved it. It's much better than the Lululemon version and packs beautifully in your suitcase and is super lightweight though still feels substantial enough to do yoga in your hotel room. 

On that note, I'm OBSESSED with Dirty Yoga and it's been my dirty secret for a while. Don't be fooled by the name- it's totally G rated but the workout is pretty hardcore. This is not "woo woo" in any way- it's strictly a getitdone situation that many true yogis may scoff at because it lacks a single lick of spirituality, but I love it. You can choose from a variety of workouts and since it's a streaming subscription model, all you need is an internet connection and a mat. And there you go. It's challenging as could be and no workout is longer than 45 minutes so you can really fit this in on a busy schedule. When I'm traveling for work or play, I'll hit them up for a no nonsense great workout.

I also love that today's boutique fitness spots have locations everywhere. Soul Cycle has seemingly invaded the world, as has Orange Theory and Barry's and any number of studios. You all know I have big love for Pure Barre, my go to workout for the past few years. I'm currently loving their new Reform class, which is a riff on the classic class and incorporates more strength training, as well as their cardio focused class, Empower. I love checking out their studios when I'm away from home- I went to the North Hollywood location a few weeks back as well as the Center City Philly location last weekend. Genius. I love Pure Barre so much- always a welcoming environment and always a challenging workout. They also have an at home version of the workout you can do anywhere, but I do love going to the studio- the workout is the same but each studio has their own local flavor.

As far as wardrobe goes, I'm super into this sweatpant/legging hybrid from Beyond Yoga. They're fleece lined and super duper comfy- you could wear them to a class or you could wear them on a flight. They're cute as heck and I love 'em.  

Also I'm so pleased to see my favorite workout tanks are back online at American Apparel and for 8 bucks! I love their racerbank tank more than anything- and I wear them all the time to work out and under blazers as well. A great layering piece that's also cool on it's own. Highly recommend. Of course, I do the basic black version. That's how I roll at the gym- loads of black and black alone. An occasional printed pant but always black on top. I'm weird like that. This post confirms my vampire aesthetic when it comes to workout clothes. 

Oh, and if you're in the market for a coat that can battle the elements, check out these amazing options on Nike.com. 

I can't get enough and I am the proud owner of this full length bad boy above. It's warm as could be and I literally walked the dog today in a tank top and leggings and was nice and toasty. The prices are decent and they are perfect sporty options for cold days and walks to the studio of your choice.

Y'all didn't know I was such a sport did ya? Cause that's what's up this jock rock of a Thursday in the 718. Yours, in getting physical. XO

Retail alert: Five affordable sweaters to wrap up the holidays from H&M

Good morning, pals. Happy Hump Day and though I'm on a bit of a shopping sabbatical, that doesn't mean I can't share some great deals with you post Black Friday/Cyber Monday blah blah blah. And since it's most definitely sweater weather, I thought it would be fun to share with you some amazing sweater steals from H&M. Full disclosure- I don't wear a ton of sweaters. If you have not lived in New York, you don't know from the unique brand of cold we have here, but you also don't know from the extraordinary amount of heat pumped through old radiators and heating systems in office buildings, restaurants, and unfortunately, one's own home in an old brownstone in Brooklyn. Wear sweaters in the winter here? Sure. Just be prepared to wear a tee shirt underneath so you can peel it off once that bikram building heat comes for you. I'm presently wearing a tank top in my apartment so there you have it. Ooh and also- the itch. Of wool. I can't.

But punishing fake heat aside, have a look at these great pieces, all super reasonably priced. Good sweaters are often very expensive- and I'm in favor of purchasing a great and expensive sweater or two per season, but these fun pieces won't break the bank and feel very aligned with the holidays. So here we go.

I love this oversized Fair Isle that looks super comfy and soft and itch free. I love it with leather leggings or tights. So good.

Brown is my favorite hue for clothing, besides black of course. I adore brown and it's a color that is super hard to find- so a sweater in this hue is always a good thing. Love it with jeans or anything else at all.

I'm not one for cropped sweaters but I know it's a great look for certain body types and I adore the classic feel of  this one, particularly when paired with white or winter white jeans and a suede bootie. Chic. Very New England Christmas.

So this is not technically a sweater, but love how a fuzzy jacket like this can replace a classic cardigan, particularly with a graphic tee and some jeans to keep it all very rawk and roll. Adorable. 

So this one is not for Scrooges but some people love a good holiday sweater, and this one is not too goofy and is a pretty look for a holiday brunch or casual celebration. Get involved. There's a way to be festive without looking silly.

So there you have it- great pieces at great prices to keep you cozy and happy this season. Cheers to a wonderful holiday season and why not self gift a bit at a reasonable cost? Cause that's what's up this bundled up Wednesday in the 718. Yours, in wrapping it all up. XO

All I want for Christmas...

Good afternoon, Tuesday. Enjoying some down time big time. So much say I was able to even take a (gasp) 9:30 class at the gym and (double gasp) get my TSA pre check done. I know this sounds ridiculous, but when I am in the throes of a project, there is no time for anything. I can't seem to figure out how to get anything done, so I'm grateful for this time to sleep a bit later and do some errands. It's the little things.

Other than that, I've about had it.

The gluttony of Black Friday and Cyber Monday have just about done me in. I'm super grateful for Giving Tuesday (I gave to the Humane Society as it's my number one charity of late), but seriously everyone- wtf is going on out there with this desperation? I mean- things are on sale all year long at this point- and maybe it's just me (I like a sale as much as the next gal), but does everything seem devalued and less than special when it's part of this "everything must go" mentality? It's like Crazy Eddie has been resurrected and is now in head to toe Balenciaga. It's cray. Too much stuff. Enough.

And although I love the holidays, I find myself wanting to retreat. In a good way. Fellow Cancerians you'll copy this- sometimes I just need to go into my little shell. That's why I started googling "chic caves" as a thought starter for how I could find a way to go truly underground, but in style. And as luck would have it, Dwell Magazine had just what the doctor ordered in the form of an article entitled "An Old Cave Dwelling in Central China Is Transformed Into a Stylish Home". Yes, that's the title. And it's real. Oh and here's the subhead:

A traditional, Chinese cave dwelling is transformed into a chic and modern rammed earth residence for a local Internet star.

I don't know about you, but I'm on the market for a rammed home residence. And this one is tasteful and gorgeous and I'm only half kidding that I want to go there right now and bed down till 2020. So the basic gist of my life right now- all I want for Christmas is a cave dwelling. Santa Baby, can you make that happen for me? I'm not really a local Internet star, but surely in between stuffing the coffers with deeply discounted goods, you can deliver on my need for some solitude? Y'all keep buying up stuff- I'm saving my pennies for a stylish cave and that's that. Because (stylishly) caving under pressure's the new black, baby.

Cause that's what's up this subterranean homesick blue kind of Tuesday in the 718. Yours, in going underground. XO

A few ideas for Cyber Monday (but otherwise, meh)

Good morning Monday and happy holidays. I had a lovely weekend in my hometown with family and friends. I'm now prepping for a big trip to Israel (the hometown from way back ha) on Christmas Day. And by prep, I mean trying not to think about packing. I do love a good distraction.

And since holiday shopping madness has officially set in, I can think of no greater distraction than all the SALES, SALES, SALES.

But for some reason, I don't want to participate, because it's all too much. And I don't need a single thing. And I'm thankful for that. 

But if you feel like getting out there and hitting every website on the internet, go for it. If I was shopping, I'd hit up West Elm for some amazing furniture deals, but my big picks are absolutely in the beauty category.

From Charlotte Tillbury to Becca to Perricone to Strivectin (my alma mater) to Ulta, there are quite a few deals to be had. And at least a beauty purchase or two won't completely break the bank. And I like the idea of getting stuff I actually use on a regular basis at a discount. Somehow that does not feel as depraved. Also I may pick up a new pair of Vans, but c'est tout. I can't be asked.

Anyhoo, that's where I am. Oh I did score some tights from my favorite brand, Hansel from Basel- whose cashmere tights are my everything in the winter time and whose sock collab with Rachel Comey is super cute. And at 35% off, you kind of can't go wrong. And today is my first real day off from work in quite a while- I'm here for some last minute holiday frenzy if you need a hand but other than that I'm chilling.

Cause that's what's up this Cyber Monday of a Monday in the 718. Yours, in holding it down .XO

When weather (and weed) is not enough...

Good morning, Friday. I'm in Southern California and there's fires burning and I'm safe but watching the news and wondering wtf is going on out here. Between the horror of Thousand Oaks and the burning it's beyond insanity. Stay safe. 

I just left San Diego last night and though the beauty of that town is extraordinary, it's a weird hang. Often when I come to Cali I wonder why I choose to live in a place like New York. A place where we have shitty weather and no personal space and a layer of grime over just about everything. But as I stood on the beach all day yesterday for a shoot I realized this type of life is not for me. I like the struggle. I like the hustle. I like the real talk. People in San Diego are strangely friendly, like, a little too friendly. But there's a vacancy in the eyes I find challenging. Like I want to knock on their heads just to make sure they're truly alive. 

Then there's the douche who tried to chase us off the beach during our shoot. Calling us losers and tourists and "corporate". I felt like I was in a scene from "Point Break".  Sure I'm loving the delicious breeze off the ocean and that afternoon light that makes my heart sing. But meh. Just a visitor. Never a resident.

I guess what I'm saying is often I wonder why the f I choose to live in a place where life is very hard. I know life is hard everywhere these days. But New York has an edge. Even though it's bougie and overrun with Type A parents and their children named Atticus. It still challenges you in the best of ways and I suppose I prefer that to constant sunshine and low humidity. I just can't with that noise. Even though weed is legal here and I much prefer Gavin to Mario. And the sushi. Mwah.

Nevertheless, this Testino pic of Tina Fey in mouse ears is more my tip. I'm not quite ready to lose my edge.

No offense to my Cali friends, darling I love you but give me Park Avenue.

Cause that's what's up this freaky Friday in the 310. Yours, in big apples. Watching these fires like woah and hoping everything is going to be ok. X0

A post, from the heart

Good morning, Tuesday I'm working on a monster project right now and I suspect my blogging will be fairly skint. But I wanted to take a moment and say how moved I was by how many people showed love and shared my Facebook post this weekend about the horrid massacre in Pittsburgh.  I'll repost it for you below but the fact that I touched so many people with my words meant the world to me. Thanks to all who shared it and commented. 

A dear friend of mine told me she can always tell when I write from the heart, vs. when I'm phoning it in (I'll never tell). Thing is, I'm a heart person. I wear my heart on my sleeve more often than not, and when my heart's not in something, it's very difficult for me to do it. Sure I'm a head person when I need to be- I'd be a pretty shit producer if I didn't have my head on straight. But I am absolutely ruled by my heart, for better or worse. I used to think this was a terrible thing. But as I get older and think about what makes me happy, it's almost always when I'm following my heart. I'm sure that's true for most of us- but for me, it's crucial. Essential even.

As someone who is always looking to deepen my dedication to creativity, I'm kind of nothing without heart and a healthy dose of gut. I need to trust that more. When I wrote those words this weekend I was deeply distressed by the news, and the words flew out of me- quickly and precisely. When I'm not operating from the heart, I find it much more difficult. Not everything we do can be heartfelt, but I have to try to continue my quest to surround myself with people, places, and work that make my heart swell. And this weekend's news also had me thinking about the absolutes that make up who we are, or at least, who I am.

Because despite the career shifts, life shifts, diet shifts, hair shifts, and other tokens of ephemera, there are some threads that have served me throughout my entire life. I am a woman. I am a Jewish woman. And I am almost all heart. No matter where I've gone or who I've been, those things are a constant. And as I wrote in the post below, sometimes it takes a senseless tragedy to get you back in touch with the things you can always count on- that define you to your core, even if you may not be aware of them all the time.

Thanks for supporting my heart and reading this blog. Needless to say, my heart is not reserved for heavy topics alone. I can feel my heart race over so many things- a new lipstick, a new shoe, an awesome meal. Inspiration comes from my heart, and when I feel it quicken, I know it's right. That's just who I am, and who I've always been.

And that's what's up this heart filled Tuesday in the 212. Yours, in no point fighting who you are. XO

Post from Facebook below:

I've been a card carrying Jewish woman my entire life. I can remember from an early age knowing that we were a bit different, and that many people had tried to take us down and would try again. I grew up knowing that people would hate me and my family and friends sight unseen because I was a Jew. I thought about my married name "Rosenberg" and wondered if it was too much of a "tell" (as if anyone would think I wasn't Jewish anyway).

I grew up having our family cars soaped with swastikas on mischief night and remember armed guards at the holidays at the synagogue where I was bat mitzvah'd. It's true I'm not terribly religious at this point- not having kids is probably a big factor in that but I never, ever forget my Judaism and how it has informed almost everything about me- my humor, my body type, my tendency towards self deprecation. But it also gave me so much- being curious about the world, valuing education, questioning everything, and of course- a love of family and friends and giving and sharing and laughing and loving.

Those things are not unique to Judaism of course, but they're my very favorite things about it. And although I am far from observant, I hurt like hell today thinking about what happened in Pittsburgh. Being Jewish has always meant a lot to me- because it's not easy. Nothing is easy. I know this. But Jews have always had to fight for their lives- literally. And because of who we are and how we're raised, we're going to continue to do so.

I am eternally grateful to be a Jew, and today I'm feeling that more than most, just like I felt so proud to be a New Yorker after 9/11. Nobody can take that away. There has been hate long before Trump and I suspect there will be long after he's gone. But never forget who you are.

Sometimes a tragedy will make you truly see that through different eyes, and remember how lucky you are to come from a bloodline of fighters and survivors. This is who I am, and who I will always be.